2008 Post Draft Analysis April 29th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Betting – After the Draft – These Teams Look Like Contenders
The draft has come and gone and for NFL online betting fans it is time to once again re-evaluate the current betting lines on some of the teams in the NFL to reach and win the Super Bowl. As always, I will be looking for high-priced long-shots in the Top Sportsbooks NFL future book online wagers. But, as you shall read, in some cases, there just isn’t a long-shot to be found in the respective NFL divisions.
I’ll start with the easiest division of all to pick a sportbook online wager bet from – – the AFC East Division.
AFC East Division
Without a doubt the two teams that helped themselves the most were the Miami Dolphins, by drafting OT Jake Long number one overall, and the Buffalo Bills who snagged CB Leodis McKelvin in the first-round. McKelvin will definitely help solidify the Bills point-of-attack on offense as he’s an excellent kick returner. The Big Tuna in Miami got a steal by grabbing Phillip Merling, one of the top defensive ends in this draft, late in the first-round. The Jets got Vernon Gholston, but he’s not enough for me to even consider a wager on them.
The team that still deserves our money in this division is the New England Patriots. Yes, Miami and Buffalo improved, but the Patriots are still heads and tails above either team in this division.
NFL Free Picks: Patriots at 13 to 4 online odds
AFC North Division
Everybody is hot on the Cleveland Browns in this division. How can I blame them? The BetUS sportsbook has the online betting odds on the Browns to win the Super Bowl at 30 to 1. I wouldn’t argue against someone willing to take a stab on this team. But they really didn’t help themselves all that much in the draft. Yes, the Browns did get some value in the fourth-round, with their first pick in this draft, but Brady Quinn may or may not be the guy for them. That means that giving up this years first-rounder to get Quinn last year could prove costly.
The team that really improved in the draft was the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers, confident in their defense, spent their two picks on hot-shot offensive players, RB Rashard Mendehall from Illinois, and WR Limas Sweed from Texas. Mendehall, along with Willie Parker, provides the Steelers with a terrific backfield. Sweed will compliment both Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward to provide the Steelers with three excellent weapons at the WR position. Big Ben should be very happy!
The Ravens took a big, huge, tremendous gamble by taking QB Joe Flacco in the first-round. Flacco could be good, but that aging Ravens’ defense needed some help at the CB position. They didn’t get it. The Bengals got LB Keith Rivers in the first-round, but they need much more then that to contend in this division.
NFL Free Picks: Steelers at 35 to 2 online odds
AFC West Division
The team that definitely improved the most in the draft was the Kansas City Chiefs. They got three starters in DT Glenn Dorsey, OG Branden Albert, and CB Brandon Flowers, in their first three picks in this draft. But that’s not enough for this team to contend for the Super Bowl. They’ll need to solidify their QB position. I don’t think Bradie Croyle is the answer.
The Broncos picked up a good OL in Ryan Clady, but is Jake Cutler really the guy they want taking snaps? The San Diego Chargers don’t need much but I can’t recommend at BetUS online odds of 7 to 1 to win the Super Bowl when they couldn’t even get there last year.
Nope, the team that I think deserves the money in this division, and trust me, I can’t believe I’m writing this, is the Oakland Raiders. A backfield of QB JeMarcus Russel, RB Justin Fargas, and RB Darren McFadden makes them one of the most feared offenses in the AFC Conference. All three guys are play-makers. Someone will need to step up in their WR corp, but overall, the odds say that the Raiders deserve some dollars.
NFL Free Picks:: Raiders at 100 to 1 online odds
AFC South Division
This division is a mess. First, I love RB Chris Johnson out of East Carolina, but seriously Titans, what are you thinking? You needed to give Vince some help in the WR position and you take a RB? The Jaguars traded all the way up to the 8th choice to take Derrick Harvey. That doesn’t make much sense to me either. Leodis McKelvin was still around at that point. And, again, let’s try to spread the field some – – shall we?
The Houston Texans took an OT in the first-round, Duane Brown, that probably won’t do much in his first two years. This team is constantly rebuilding.
Then, there are the Colts who grabbed the best center in the draft in Mike Pollak. The rich get richer. I’m going to have to put a sportsbook wager on the Colts.
NFL Free Picks: Colts at 7 to 1 online odds
NFC East Division
Everybody did well from the NFC East in this year’s draft. First, the Cowboys got two terrific players in CB Mike Jenkins and RB Felix Jones. Jones will complement Marion Barber in the backfield and Jenkins is just a playa. He could be a defensive star in the NFL. The Giants did well to grab WR Mario Manningham in the 3rd round. I don’t care what his 40 time was at the combine. This guy is going to love playing with Plaxico Burress and Eli Manning. The Eagles did well with what they had. The real story with the Eagles is free agent Asante Samuels. If he’s good, then the Eagles will bounce back in the division.
But the real star from this division is the Washington Redskins. The Skins picked up arguably the two best wide receivers in this year’s draft in Devin Thomas out of Michigan State and Malcolm Kelly out of Oklahoma. They also took TE Fred Davis out of USC. That gives new coach Jim Zorn a lot to work with. My online betting wager will go on the Redskins in this division.
NFL Free Picks: Redskins at 40 to 1 online odds
NFC North Division
There was nothing great in this division. Everybody was just okay or really bad in my book. Let’s start with the really bad. The Chicago Bears had twelve picks in this draft and didn’t snag a wide receiver or a quarterback. Their top pick, OT Chris Williams out of Vanderbilt, will be a Pro-Bowler in the NFL. Too bad he may be blocking for Rex Grossman and Cedric Benson for a long-time.
At the least the Detroit Lions didn’t draft a wide receiver in the first-round. They just blew it by taking a so-so OT in Gosder Cherillous. They should have gone for Pittsburgh’s OT Jeff Otah at that spot. So, I’m going to say that Matt Millen failed again.
Both the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings helped themselves in this draft. I really like what the Vikings did by taking QB John David Booty in the second round. Booty could be a surprise. He didn’t have the weapons that Matt Leinart had while he was at USC and Booty does tend to force the ball at times, but the pressure will be off him at Minnesota. I think I’ll place an online wager on the Vikings.
NFL Free Picks: Vikings at 28 to 1 online odds
NFC West Division
This is another mess of a division. The San Francisco 49’ers helped themselves the most by taking DT Kentwan Balmer in the 1st round and CB Reggie Smith in the 3rd round. But this team needs to decide if Alex Smith is their quarterback. He doesn’t play like it all of the time. The Arizona Cardinals chose Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the first-round. Rodgers-Cromartie will start at CB this year, but he has one kidney. That’s bothersome to me. Football is extremely physical. I don’t know for how many years Rodgers-Cromartie will hold up. The Seahawks had a solid draft by taking DE Lawrence Jackson in the first-round. This team didn’t need much to challenge in the NFC. So, any help on that D-Line that they could get will be well-received.
But the team that I thought did the best job was the St. Louis Rams. If you can get a future hall-of-famer at any point in a draft, then that’s what you do. Chris Long, if he stays healthy, will be in the NFL Hall-of-Fame. Yes, he’s that good. He immediately makes an impact on the Rams’ defense. If the Rams’ O-Line comes back healthy and can protect Mark Brunell and RB Steven Jackson, then the Rams immediately are a better team then last year.
NFL Free Picks: Rams at 75 to 1 online odds
NFC South Division
Every team in the NFC South Division helped themselves in the draft. The Atlanta Falcons did exactly what they needed to. They took QB Matt Ryan with the 3rd pick in the draft. Ryan is a can’t miss prospect. He’s got all of the intangibles to be a star in the NFL. The Buccaneers took Aqib Talib in the first-round. This guy will be great for John Gruden’s team. The off the field issues don’t bother me because Gruden runs a very tight ship.
The Carolina Panthers drafted RB Jonathan Stewart out of the first-round. At first I didn’t like the pick. Then, I found out that it was the Panther’s medical team that preformed the operation on Stewart’s toe. That means something right?
Of course the team that did the best for themselves was the New Orleans Saints. Moving up in the draft to tag DT Sedrick Ellis out of USC and then getting CB Tracy Porter out of Indiana in the second-round means only one thing – – the Saints are serious about defense this year.
NFL Free Picks: Saints at 25 to 1 online odds
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